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Fig and Rose Chia Pudding

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She’s a Turkish delight.

Sometimes I’ll think back on the times before I studied nutrition. Those same heady, saccharine days - before I could connect action with consequence, I’d pop macarons like tic-tacs and then wonder why I felt tired and moody afterwards?Now I am both a realist and a nutriphile. I’ll still always have a Laduree rose macaron every time I’m lucky enough to be in Paris. For those other times, I’m excited to have created this little pudding.

Creamy, exotic and little a bit special - Oh, and it’s full of the of those chia seed super- thingamies… you may have heard of them.

As well as being an ingredient here, pure rosewater also holds the title of My All-time Favourite Beauty Product. I buy it in bulk from an essential oils distributer and use it as an alcohol-free toner, facial spritzer and make-up setter. I find it pretty darn amazing for my rosacea-prone, sensitive skin. Plus it smells pretty. Which is always a good thing.

Makes: 6 puddings

Time: 3 + hours soaking, 1 hour chilling, 15 minutes loving labour

You’ll need a proper free-standing blender for this one, the more powerful, the better. Hand blenders don’t quite cut the mustard.

For the Pudding

  • 2/3 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked for 3+ hours in 1 ½ cups filtered water and a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 7 soft-dried figs (if using completely dried figs, soak them in water beforehand to soften)
  • 1 ½ tbsp rosewater
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup of whole chia seeds

The Topping

  • 1 handful raw, unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 1 handful raw almonds
  • Optional: dried rose petals
  • Optional: Fresh cut figs

Soak.

The morning or evening before you want to make this pud, pop 2/3 cup raw cashews in a bowl with 1 ½ cups of water and a pinch of sea salt.

This softens the nuts, so they’ll be creamy when you blend them. It also dissolves some of the nutrient-absorbtion blocking phytic acid present inthe hulls of the nuts, as well as enzyme inhibitors that stop them sprouting prematurely (which can also inhibit the enzymes in your body from digesting them properly.)

Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Once fully soaked, drain, rinse and set aside

Blend.

In your blender, combine the soaked cashews with everything in the pudding list above.

Blitz. Like crazy. For 2 minutes. Then taste. You can always add more honey if you prefer.

Seeds.

Put your chia seeds in the bottom of a large, dry bowl.

Pour the blender mixture into the seeds, whisking as you go to avoid the chia seeds sticking together. For the next 10 minutes, give the bowl another friendly whisk every few minutes, before covering and placing in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Toast.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds and pistachios on a baking tray at 160 C for about 11 minutes.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool and chop roughly.

If using, slice your figs into small crescents.

Everything’s coming up roses.

Remove the pudding from the fridge and whisk one last time, before spooning about a tablespoon and a half of the mixture into 6 small receptacles. Re-refrigerate and decorate later. Or sprinkle with the nuts and fresh figs/ rose petals to consume immediately.

*A note on toppings: I’ve found tangy fruit toppings overwhelm this delicate little pudding, so I’d recommend sticking to just nuts and figs for this one.

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